A Little Bit of History: Harold D. Cooley

Harold Dunbar Cooley (1897-1974) was a politician with the Democratic Party, Congressman Cooley represented the Fourth Congressional district of NC from the mid-1930s through 1967. He served as Chairman of the US House Committee on Agriculture from 1949 to 1952 and again from 1955 to 1967.

An NC Highway Historical Marker placed in Nashville NC draws attention to his significance in shaping postwar federal farm policy. Cooley was a driving force in developing President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s agricultural program. Cooley backed reforms to provide for allotments, price supports, rural electrification, and soil conservation.

Cooley also endorsed the “Food for Freedom” program. A quote attributed to Cooley states, “Bread and butter rather than bullets and bayonets are the most powerful weapons in our arsenal.”

In addition to the highway historical marker, the Harold D. Cooley library in Nashville NC is named after Congressman Cooley.